1. File within 180 days of the first act of discrimination
If you think that you have experienced employment discrimination in hiring, promotions, or firing, you must first speak with a member of the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and file a charge with them at your local IDHR office. Make sure that you give a complete description of the discrimination.
There are 3 IDHR offices where you can file a charge in person:
100 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601
222 South College
Springfield, IL 62704
To mail your charge, send it to the IDHR location closest to you.
2. Your charge will be sent to your employer
The employer will have 60 days to respond.
3. The IDHR will investigate
IDHR will investigate your claim. They will collect documents and interview witnesses.
Part of the investigation might also include a fact-finding conference. You and your employer can show evidence to the IDHR. The investigator will question both of you. You can respond to your employer’s comments.
4. If the IDHR investigator finds enough proof of discrimination
The investigator will write a report on whether there is enough proof of discrimination. If there is enough proof, you can start a civil suit or file a complaint with the IDHR.
You could also go to mediation. You can only mediate if both sides agree to mediate. The goal of the mediation is to settle. If you do not settle, you will move to an investigation.
5. If the IDHR investigator finds there is not enough proof of discrimination
The IDHR will dismiss your charge. You will be sent a
- Seek review of the dismissal before the Illinois Human Rights Commission or
- File a lawsuit in state court. The letter will tell you the deadline for filing or seeking review, but it is generally 90 days after you receive the Notice of Dismissal.